Tuesday October 20, 2020
By: Mike Vlasveld
Constable Daniel Montsion is facing charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in the 2016 death of Abdirahman Abdi.
Ottawa Police Constable Daniel Montsion exits the courthouse on Elgin Street in Ottawa. Jeff Slack/ OttawaMatters
The long-awaited verdict in the trial of an Ottawa police constable, charged with manslaughter in the death of Abdirahman Abdi, is set to be delivered.
But whether Ottawa Police Constable Daniel Montsion is found guilty or not on Tuesday, October 20, inside of Ottawa's courthouse on Elgin Street, the Justice for Abdirahman Coalition says the community has suffered dearly.
"I don't know if we'll get a sense of closure, whichever way this goes," says coalition spokesperson Dahabo Ahmed Omer. "Because, at the at the end of the day, none of this is going to bring Abdirahman back. I think true justice looks like Abdirahman still having his life."
Still, Ahmed Omer says a lot of eyes will be on the Ottawa courthouse.
"I haven't slept. None of us have really slept."
A Somali-Canadian, Abdi died of a heart attack after an arrest by Ottawa police in Hintonburg, back in the summer of 2016. Constable Montsion was later charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.
At the end of the day, Ahmed Omer says she can only hope that Abdi did not die in vain, and that longstanding issues of systemic racism within police services can finally start to change.
"It's only time that's going to allow for that healing to take place, and hopefully priorities and challenges that have been identified when it comes to the relationship between police and Black communities," she explains.